The lead-up to the holiday season is the busiest time of year for retailers which can make it difficult for small businesses to stay in control of inventory management.

According to research from retail analyst firm IHL Group, retailers worldwide are losing a staggering $634.1 billion annually due to running out of stock and an additional $471.9 billion from overstocking each year.

It’s important to be prepared (as much as you can!) for the hectic holiday season and successful inventory management is one way to ensure you optimize sales and profit.

During the holiday season, a considerable amount of your time is taken up by focusing on other aspects of the business, it’s easy to lose control when it comes to retail stock management.

In order to ensure you minimize losses from inventory stock outs and overstocks, we’ve come up with 3 top tips to help you get prepared for the chaos of the holiday season 2015.

1. Understand your customers with insight

Understanding your customers is crucial in the build up to the holiday season. Keeping an eye on in-depth sales analysis can help provide an insight into your customers.

Brightpearl’s built-in accounting allows you to see where you are making money and where you are not, giving you the ability to invest in the stock that’s right for your customers and your business.

British lifestyle brand, Cabbages and Roses’ Head of Operations, Holly-Leigh Harvey, shared how Brightpearl’s customer insight has helped their business, “Looking at the product reports will also impact our product development. If we’ve had a lot of returns for a product we’ll investigate why and possibly stop producing that item, or change the design, or work with the manufacturer on improving the quality.”

Brightpearl Insights allows you to drive powerful data analysis to understand your customer loyalty and in turn increase profitability. To find out more, watch our webinar on how to increase revenue and customer loyalty through business intelligence. 

2. Order stock guaranteed to sell

Don’t underestimate the power of predicting what stock to invest cash in. Tracking where you are making your money is important in inventory management for retail. If you can track what stock is selling and where you are making money it will help retailers to optimise inventory management.

Brightpearl automatically updates inventory levels across sales channels to reduce stock outs, eliminate double selling and improve cash flow.

Home Life Direct’s Managing Director, Edward Sloane said “Being able to streamline our business and plan properly means we’ve seen a 25% increase in turnover. As a seasonal business, forecasting is really important for us and a fantastic feature of Brightpearl.”

Real-time inventory updates not only will help drive revenue by improving stock accuracy, it additionally can help you replenish inventory to help you keep up with demand for your best sellers this holiday season.

Our previous blog, What is inventory management? Keeping up with the changing retail customer experience, explains the benefits of accurate inventory management in more detail. 

3. Monitor cash flow in real-time

Brightpearl’s retail management software allows you to keep track of your cash flow and inventory so you can act fast when restocking.

Natural Baby Shower, an online retailer of natural baby products, Director & Co-founder Clifton Vaughan said, “With Brightpearl in place everything is updated in real-time and we know exactly what we have in stock and we can turnaround our inventory much quicker.”

Monitoring your cash flow in real-time will allow you to efficiently manage your inventory and save your crucial time over the holiday season.

Real-time accounting allows you to keep your stock valuation up-to-date and make smart business decisions based on comprehensive, accurate and timely information.

Brightpearl gives you real-time access to your profit and loss and sales reports, meaning you can easily see what’s working and what’s not. It gives you the ability to make informed decisions to make adjustments quickly.

Read The Ultimate Retail Guide to the Holiday Season 2015 to get more tips on how to prepare for the upcoming holiday season 2015 including how to prepare for key holiday shopping dates, maximizing revenue by catering to early shoppers, and learning to love returns.

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About the Author

Danielle Ricketts is the Senior Global Content Manager at Brightpearl where she spends her time following her passions of writing, retail and social media. She can be found writing away about all things retail or engaging with followers online.